Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib (Udasin)

Ram Rai Darbar Sahib
Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib (Udasin)

There were lots of great saints in India who worked for society and country during their lifetime and created a system for their followers to work for the welfare of society and the country. Shri Guru Ram Rai was the great saint who worked their whole life for the human, society, and country. Today we popularly know them by various names such as Jhanda Sahib, Jhande Ji, Baba Ram Rai, and the founder of Dehradun. 

Dehradun was the ‘Karmbhoomi’ of Shri Guru Ram Rai where the rest of life working for human and social welfare. He organizing popular Jhanda Mela and gave the message of blessing, harmony, goodwill, and mutual brotherhood. Interestingly, if the flag was not present today, then perhaps Dehradun would not have happened.

History of Guru Ram Rai

On the Chaitra Panchami of Phalguna month (5th day from Holi), Shri Guru Ram Rai was born in 1646 at Kiratpur, Ropar, Panjab. Guru Ram Rai was the son of the Seventh Sikh Guru Har Rai Ji. He had younger brothers Guru Harkrishan and an elder sister Swaroop Kaur. The palace where he was born called Sheesh Mahal which was constructed on the model of Sheesh Mahal of Jaipur. He had superpowers since birth and acquired lots of knowledge in a very short life.

Guru Ram Rai Rejected by his father Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji

Once Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was accusing Guru Har Rai of helping his brother Dara Shikoh. So Guru Har Rai Ji sent Guru Ram Rai as an emissary in Aurangzeb’s court for clarification. Due to misinterpretation of Shri Guru Nanak’s writings and not obeying his father's order exactly, he was rejected by his father or Seventh Sikh Guru Har Rai Ji and also from the Sikh community. 

Guru Har Rai Ji ordered him not return to home and to Punjab state for a lifetime. Guru Ram Rai was a very honorable member of the Sikh community and now he was cast away for becoming a Sikh Guru. He had to face the social boycott by his own community.

Aurangzeb Honored Guru Ram Rai as Hindu Pir

Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was very impressed with Guru Ram Rai's knowledge, cleverness, and miraculous powers. So Aurangzeb honored him as Hindu Pir and asked him to remain associated with Aurangzeb's court and stay in Delhi with him for some time. Guru Ram Rai accepted Aurangzeb's request and stay for some time, Aurangzeb. After some time he decided to move to a new place to establish himself as a Guru and do something for human and social welfare.

Founder of Dehradun- Sri Guru Ram Rai

At a very young age, Guru Ram Rai started his journey with his accompaniment. During his journey, he visited the ‘Doon’ valley in the year 1676 and established his ‘Dera’ (camp) here which was popular later as ‘Deradoon’ and now known as Dehradun. As per the order of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, Garhwal’s Raja Fateh Shah granted six villages as Jagir (land grant) to Guru Ram Rai. Today these villages are now known as Panditwadi, Dhamawala, Rajpura, Khurbura, Lachchiwala, etc. British also unable to come without permission taken from Darbar Sahib. Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib still has a large property in Dehradun.

Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib (Udasin) Monument

The peoples who don’t know about Guru Ram Rai think that Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib is a Gurudwara. It is the only misconception. Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib is a monument that is actually a philanthropic organization that follows the Udasin tradition. It is considered here not to be a Sikh tradition but to have a nostalgic practice. Here you will find books of indifferent tradition.

Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib
Murals on the building of Darbar Sahib

The present building of Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib was built in the year 1707. This monument is an example of Hindu and Islamic architecture style. This building having minarets, domes, murals. The murals on the walls of monuments represent spiritual enlightenment and mixed culture. The walls of the building are carved with flowers and motifs. 

Paintings on walls reflecting different religious figures. For example, there is a mural of a woman whose dressing style is a mixture of Mughal and Garhwali. One of the murals showing Hindu God Ram and Laxman with Hanuman wearing Mughal crowns. One of the murals in corridors depicted Janam Sakhis of Sikh Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Not only murals the text is written on them also in various languages such as Hindi, English, Persian, and Gurumukhi which represents the mixed culture of the Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib.

Community kitchen- Free food for all

At that time, Dehradun was a small village. So it was not an easy task to arrange food for those who arrived at the fair. In view of this, Shri Guru Ram Rai Maharaj made such an arrangement that no person who stepped in the door of the Darbar Sahib returned the hungry. The foundation stone of this shared stove was laid at Dehradun on the day of Chaitra Panchami in the year 1675 in the court of Darbar Sahib Shri Guru Ram Rai. This started the historic flag fair in Dehradun.

Since that time this community kitchen has not been cold. This stove never asked any person who came to Darbar Sahib Door to question what his religion was. It does not discriminate, knows how to erase distinctions. Even today, thousands of people take food every day under one roof. During the famous Flag Fair, this number reaches thousands, so ‘Langars’ are run at different places by the Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib.

Jhanda Mela of Dehradun

Jhanda Mela or Flag Fair of Dehradun is organized by Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib in respect and memory of Shri Shri Guru Ram Rai. Every year from the fifth day of Holi (Hindu festival) Jhanda Mela is organized at the Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib. Organizing Jhanda Mela on this day because of two reasons. First, this day is the birthday of Guru Ram Rai and many years later on the same day, he comes for the first time to Dehradun. Lots of devotees of Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib come here from various states of India and abroad also for celebrating this ceremony. For the devotees of Guru Ram Rai, there are lots of facilities such as free food, free lodging, and stay facility.

Mahant Practice Started

In 1687 Sri Guru Ram Rai Ji left this earth and moved to heaven. Sri Guru Ram Rai Ji had four wives but not a single son from anyone. Sri Guru Ram Rai's fourth wife Panjab Kaur took charge of all responsibility but she never sat on the Guru Ram Rai throne. Mata Panjab Kaur spent her whole life to helping poor and miserable persons. Mata Panjab Kaur started discipleship. The first Mahant was Shri Mahant Oud Das Ji. The rules for the become Mahant is very different. Only Garhwali Brahmins who not married in their entire life can be Mahant of Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib.

List of Mahants of Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib (Udasin)

To date, nine Mahant already successfully followed the responsibilities of Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib. Now the tenth Mahant Devendra Das has successfully handled the all responsibilities of Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib since June 25, 2000. The full list of Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib Mahant since starting is listed below.
  1. Mahant Oud Das (1687-1741)
  2. Mahant Har Prasad (1741-1766)
  3. Mahant Har Sevak (1766-1818)
  4. Mahant Swaroop Das (1818-1842)
  5. Mahant Pritam Das (1842-1854)
  6. Mahant Narayan Das (1854-1885)
  7. Mahant Prayag Das (1885-1896)
  8. Mahant Lakshman Das (1896-1945)
  9. Mahant Indiresh Charan Das (1945-2000)
  10. Mahant Devendra Das (Since June 25, 2000)
The ninth Mahant Shri Indresh Charan Das Ji during his period established Sri Guru Ram Rai Education Mission in 1952. For providing cheap and quality education for all he opens lots of schools and colleges. He completed many works during his period such as renovation and preservation of the Darbar Sahib building, restoration of ‘Sarover’ (water tank) of Darbar Sahib, for the devotee's lodging facility, etc. He ensured that all modern and latest facilities should be available in his schools, colleges, engineering institutes which are running under his mission.

Now since June 25, 2000, Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib (Udasin) is under the supervision of Shri Mahant Devender Das Ji. He is successfully organizing the yearly most popular Jhanda Mela. He added medical and pharmacy education institutes under Sri Guru Ram Rai Education Mission and now he is running Shri Mahant Indiresh Hospital and Shri Guru Ram Rai Medical College successfully with all other responsibilities.

Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib Timings

  • Open at 5 AM in the morning and closed at 9 PM in the evening.
  • On other days for visiting this place, you will need only 2-3 hours which is sufficient.
  • During Jhanda Mela you have to give a full day here because Jhada Mela is a full day ceremony. Then you have to come one day before the Jhanda Mela at Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib.

Sarover (Water tank) Infront of Darbar Sahib
Sarovar (Water tank) In Front of Darbar Sahib

How to Reach Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib

Shri Guru Ram Rai Darbar Sahib is situated at Guru Ram Rai Market, Machi Gali, Jhanda Mohalla which is near to Saharanpur square. It is only half km far away from the Dehradun railway station and 5 km from the Dehradun ISBT bus stand. You will get an easy auto, taxi, city local buses from both places.

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